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was there. also, just ahead of this meeting, sergei lavrov, the russian foreign minister, had flatly denied again that there are any russians troops in crimea. he said, "how can we pull them back? how can we stop an occupation when these are self-defense forces? these are not russian." that really dampened hopes of any meaningful progress. at least they've talked, and at least it has gone on longer than we thought. the other big news, of course, is the e.u. weighing in with a big financial package, offering $15 billion worth of aid. that comes after yesterday's announcement of a billion dollars of -- of loan guarantees from the u.s. the priority, aside from calming down the security situation in crimea, is, of course, to try and stabilize the ukrainian economy which is in a terrible way with the russians turning the screws still more. the finance ministry here have been frank. they say we've got no money left. the coffers are empty, it's been stolen. also in the east, we've seen more violence, clashes between pro-russian protesters and supporters of the ukrainian government. we've had the -
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